All the Trimmings: Creative Seasonal Decorating Tips from the Experts

Written By: Amy Meadows

THERE’S SO MUCH TO LOOK FORWARD TO when summer becomes fall.

One of those things, undoubtedly, is the chance to break out your favorite seasonal decorations. For so many of us, the last several months of the year are a decorating bonanza. We adorn our homes with an array of festive décor, moving gleefully from the jewel-toned baubles of fall to the shimmering trimmings of the holidays. And this year in particular, the opportunity to infuse our abodes with a sense of comfort and spirit will be a truly welcome exercise.

If you’re looking for way to enhance your bedecking for the fall and holiday seasons, then you’re in luck. We asked two of North Georgia’s premier interior design and decorating experts to share their tips for adding some creativity to your efforts. Here’s what they had to say.

FANTASTIC FALL

And trying a few new techniques and touches can give your fall décor a whole new feel.

The temperature outside may still be high when fall officially arrives, but that doesn’t mean you have to wait to bring out the autumn decorations. “Mid-September is a good time to start,” says Robin LaMonte, award-winning interior designer and owner of Rooms Revamped Interior Design.

“If you want to get more bang for your buck, get started right after Labor Day. After you’ve decorated with red, white and blue, you can switch over to your fall scape,” she says.

Color Concepts

The beloved autumn hues of yellow, orange and red will never go out of style, but there are other colors and patterns that can bring that fall feeling into your home as well. According to Dave Woelber, owner of A.D. Kringle Design, caramel and cinnamon with accents of olive are

very popular this year. “The colors fit well with the traditional fall colors but add an extra contrast,” he explains.

Additionally, LaMonte often uses buffalo plaid in her fall decorating; the red-andblack or black-and-white checked pattern is a homey one and transitions beautifully from month-to-month and even into the holiday season.

A Natural Choice

“I always look to nature when thinking about décor,” Woelber adds. “How you incorporate some natural elements into the decorations can add texture and a warming scent [to your scheme].”

LaMonte points to a burlap table runner as a great option, as it brings an organic touch to any decorating plan. She also recommends using fall flowers for both the interior and exterior of your home; a bouquet of sunflowers inside and large barrels of mums outside offer the perfect balance of color and natural charm.

Light the Way

While strands of white twinkle lights are popular in fall decorating, there’s another source of ambient light that you should consider: candles. Lanterns and candles are key decorating elements for LaMonte, who says the presence can make any space feel warm, cozy and welcoming And today’s candle options provide the feel you want without the fire hazard; flickering flameless candles (often featuring timers) not only look real, but also can be scented, filling your home with aromas like vanilla and honey.

THE MOST WONDERFUL TIME OF THE YEAR

If you love your holiday decorations, then they may make an appearance even before the turkey has been carved. “Switching between fall and holiday decorating is best in November, but some of it depends on how you plan on spending your Thanksgiving holiday,” Woelber says. “If you are entertaining, wait until after. However, if you are not, many people are decorating for Christmas earlier as it adds sparkle.”

Also, because decorating for the holidays can take time, you may want to enjoy your efforts a bit longer.

On the Outside

Exterior decorating is never more prevalent than during the holidays. While many of us decorate our porches or front doors during the other seasons of the year, we tend to go all out when December arrives, and our yards become winter wonderlands. And although we’re often decorating to dazzle passersby or our neighbors, Woelber suggests adding one more group to that list: your family.

“If you are anything like me [during the holidays], I often gaze out the front window in wonder,” he says. “I prefer to decorate where I will see the sparkle from the inside as well and make it look inviting.”

If you strategically place some of your favorite outdoor decorations so they are visible from your home’s interior, then you can enjoy the display as much as—if not even more than—everyone else.

Think Small

The main design features of our homesthe mantle, the staircase, the bookshelvesare ripe for holiday decorating. But there are other spots that can become festive backdrops as well.

“Tables make the best centerpieces,” LaMonte says. “If you have a dining room that you don’t use often, then decorate it. Put out your best china. Fill the table with candles. Your tablescape can stay up the entire season.”

This is particularly effective if your home is small and you don’t have a number of grand rooms to festoon. What’s more, a well-planned tablescape can transition easily between all of the end-of-the-year holidays.

Expect the Unexpected

If you’re a traditionalist, then red and green are your go-to holiday colors. Or you might prefer blue and silver. Why not change it up this year and try a new color palette for the holidays? Woelber reveals that a single bold and expressive color with metallic or natural elements is on-trend this year, as is the use of white, gray and beige-tone trees.

“Anyone looking to break stereotypes will consider a black tree or a tree of bright color decorated with nontraditional elements,” he says. According to LaMonte, gold, navy, ice blue and cream also can add a unique yet festive touch to your décor.

But if you must have red and green in your scheme, then you certainly can combine various hues—such as cherry, coral and rose or lime and pine green—for a fresh look. Accents of bronze and copper will neutralize the different shades and provide a cohesive feel to this modern take on holiday decorating.

IT’S PERSONAL

No matter how you choose to decorate, remember that the goal is to make the look your own.

“When searching for the perfect addition to your decorating, start early and look for things that bring a spirit of your childhood to the season,” says Woelber. “It’s always good to find items that help you share stories of past holidays and items that bring warm thoughts.”

LaMonte concludes, “When you’re decorating, do it for yourself. It’s about tradition. No matter what happens, and during the most uncertain times, having your home decorated will lift your spirits.”

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